Russian deep-sea submersibles reached the seabed of the Arctic Ocean and scooped samples of the Lomonosov Ridge earlier in July and August. The effort is part of a unique scientific expedition carried out by Russian polar explorers in 2007. The preliminary results of a research into the samples obtained on August 2, 2007, indicate that the Lomonosov Ridge is “a geological extension of the Siberian continental platform, and therefore the region is a continuation of the Russian plateau,” said Viktor Posyolov, deputy director of the Institute of World Ocean Geology and Mineral Resources of Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources. The final results of the research will be released in August next year, ITAR-TASS reports.
“Arctic Explorer-35,” a polar research station manned by a joint team of Russian and 24 foreign explorers of the Arctic region is due to become operational this fall. The station will be located on a drifting ice floe. The expedition aims to conduct a complex research into the climatic system of the Arctic basin. The explorers are expected to set sail toward the Arctic region before mid-September on board the nuclear-powered icebreaker Rossiya.
Russian polar explorers are looking for an appropriate ice floe at the moment. “We need to locate a stable ice floe, the one which will enable the expedition to drift for 12 months… The ice floe should be at least 2.7 meter thick, and about 10 square kilometers across. To locate it, experts are using data provided by a satellite and helicopters,” said Valery Martyshchenko, a representative of the Russian Meteorological Service. He added that the expedition would address several issues pertaining to the study of the changes that affect nature in uninhabited areas of the planet. New findings will enable meteorologists to predict weather in a more accurate way, Martyshchenko said.
Regional Development Minister Vladimir Yakovlev issued orders to set up an interdepartmental workgroup for the sustainable development of the Arctic region. The group is to be headed by Regional Development Deputy Minister Vladimir Dedyukhin. The new body is being put together to carry out projects aimed at extending Russia’s presence into the Arctic region. The group will consider issues related the development of the indigenous peoples of Russia’s polar regions. In particular, the group will deal with the development of transport and communications infrastructure in the region; public health-care system improvement; measures required for adjusting to climate change; environmental management and natural resources exploration.
In 2006, the Russian Ministry of Regional Development made a plan for the sustainable development of the Arctic regions. The plan drew support of all Arctic territories within the boundaries of the Russian Federation i.e. Murmansk and Arkhangelsk Regions; Komi Autonomous Republic; Nenets, Chukotka, Yamalo-Nenets and Taimyr Autonomous Regions; Krasmoyarsk Region; and the Autonomous Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), RIA Novosti reports.
Translated by Guerman Grachev